Visiting Artist Creates Giant Beetle at Learning Center

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Who knew what an old trampoline, some creativity and old-fashioned know-how could turn into? That’s what 5th grade students at The Learning Center! Charter School were saying after they teamed up with visiting artist, Jeff Menzer.

 

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Asheville based artist, Jeff Menzer, visited the school back in February to plan projects he and students would be implementing on campus this spring. Menzer specializes in creating “Re-Art” Sculpture, figurative sculpture, and environmental installations using found objects and industrial discards.

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Menzer worked with the students to brainstorm some ideas for the project with the idea that it would eventually be a bug or insect themed art piece.

 

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Menzer returned to the school recently to turn discarded trampoline parts into art pieces that will become part of the school’s “Outdoor Learning Center” program. The large-scale art piece project serves to involve students in the design process, involve students in collaborative problem-solving of environmental issues through the creative process, and to complete an art piece that has now been permanently installed on campus.

 

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As the trampoline was being taken apart and the parts rearranged, the idea for a beetle began to develop. This concept tied into the 5th grade science ecosystems unit and also the math curriculum as students had to figure out lengths for sections of the beetle structure and the size the beetle needed to be relative to the garden area.

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Each student contributed a name for the beetle sculpture. The two names that were chosen were a common name: The Junkyard Beetle, and the scientific name: Schoolias Beetilus. School director, Mary Jo Dyre has her own nickname for the beetle sculpture. “I like to call it ‘VW.’”

2nd Grade Learns About Environment

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Students in second grade completed a project that was all about the environment. The students learned about Earth Day and the importance of recycling, reducing and reusing. Through books and technology, the students were able to research and write about the importance of protecting our environment. They learned that the average person creates about 4.5 pounds of trash per day, so the students re-purposed trash to create something new and presented their creations with their classmates.

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Pathfinder Crew Paints Rocks as Part of Earth Day Activities

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The Pathfinder Crew painted rocks as part of the Murphy Rocks movement and then hid them with care along the River Walk.  This was in conjunction with learning about native trees and water quality as part of their Earth Day activities with the Hiawassee River Watershed Coalition.

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The Celtic Company Concert

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On April 3, 2017, The Celtic Company with Susan Clearman performed traditional Celtic music for all students at The Learning Center. John Maschinot played the uillean pipes.  They are smaller than the great Highland pipes and powered by a bellows operated by the player’s arm. Susan played the accordion and Evan Kenney played guitar and banjo. They performed with singer/step-dancer Olivia Bradley who performed traditional Irish dance as well as played the bodhran, the traditional Celtic hand drum.

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The authentic, traditional music was available to our students thanks to the Brasstown Concert Association and the Jackie Ward Foundation. Students couldn’t help but to tap their feet and clap along to the wonderful Irish singing and dance!

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1st Grade Science — Coral Reef Ecosystems

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First grade students recently finished creating a coral reef diorama. They designed the diorama after learning about the coral reef ecosystem and how important it is to the world. They learned that coral reefs provide food, habitats, industry and medicines. They also learned about the special symbiotic relationships that exist in coral reefs such as the mutualistic relationship between corals and algae that live in them and between clown fish and sea anemones.

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Jackie Ward Life and Legacy Event

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On Saturday, May 6, 2017 a special event was held to honor and celebrate the life and legacy of Jackie Ward.

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Jackie Ward was an advocate for the education of children and families in our community and an inspiration to all she touched. Tragically, her life was cut short far too soon.

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The Jackie Ward Foundation was created in her name to enrich and enhance an otherwise general education by introducing students to the life-changing power of the Arts, while promoting business, entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering and math education. The overall goal of the Jackie Ward Foundation is to ignite and galvanize those who will eventually take on roles as community leaders and trailblazers.

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The event included a special performance by local singer-songwriter, Ally Jordan, and comedy by Karl Snow.

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To learn more about Jackie Ward, the Jackie Ward Foundation and how you can contribute to it’s mission, visit www.jackiewardfoundation.org by clicking >>>>HERE<<<<.

Spring Musical — The Adventures of Fearsome Pirate Frank

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The annual spring drama production showed May 5-7, 2017 to sold out crowds in the school’s Black Box Theater.  The story of the the stage actors playing pirates being kidnapped by Fearsome Pirate Frank and her crew was a rousing comedy filled with talented actors perfectly cast for their parts. These students spent months learning lines, songs and dances and their hard work paid off in the incredible final production!

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A special thanks is owed to the stage hands, make-up crew, sound and lighting team. Also, the hard work of Director, Ryan Bender, Musical Director, Judy Coleman, and Assistant Director, Cheryl Catuto, is both recognized and greatly appreciated.

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Finally, this production would not be possible without the support of the Jackie Ward Foundation which seeks to enrich and enhance an otherwise general education by introducing students to the life-changing power of the Arts, while promoting business, entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering  and math education.

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